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into the issue of same-sex marriage and is considering challenges to two laws -- the defense of marriage act that blocks the federal government from recognizing it, and prop 8, a voter initiative that stops same-sex marriage in california. two gay couples in california are asking the court to strike down proposition 8 enacted by state voters in 2008 to prevent people like them from getting married. >> we're not out to redefine marriage or topple the institution. we are out to be a part of it. >> reporter: their lawyer says there's no valid reason to forbid their marriage because it would have no effect on straight couples. >> proponents of proposition 8 still haven't been able to come one with an argument as to why for all the good things about marriage we need to keep people out who want to get married. >> reporter: nine states now allow same-sex marriage along with washington, d.c. 38 others ban it by law or constitutional amendment. defenders of prop 8 say it is intended to protect the traditional notion of families. >> the institution of marriage and marriage laws are designed to attach
to consider a challenge to the defense of marriage act, the federal law that defines marriage between a woman and a man. and it comes ten days after her husband urged the court to overturn the law, which he signed in 1996. the arc of mrs. clinton's changed opinion reflects a turnaround of public sentiment. in 2004, only 30% of americans supported same-sex marriage. by december of last year, the same nbc news wall street journal poll showed a majority in favor. >> the world has just transformed itself on this issue, including the political world. >> reporter: on friday, republican senator rob portman came out in favor of same-sex marriage. >> i now believe people ought to have the right to get married. >> reporter: a position most of his party oppose, but this morning after a report declared the party need to do broaden its appeal, the party launched a $10 million vopledge to reach its votes. president obama has also changed his position, announcing his support of same-sex marriage last year and a new poll just today shows 58% of americans agree. brian? >> kristin welker at the white house for
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